Re: [OPE-L] Grundrisse. Help

From: David Yaffe (david@DANYAF.PLUS.COM)
Date: Sat Jul 22 2006 - 07:18:51 EDT


How does the term valorisation vaguely help? How would a person  reading
Capital for the first time understand that concept without explanation?
Please address the problem raised - is not 'reproduction and expansion' of
capital etc far more helpful in understanding what Marx was talking about?
Why was Engels satisfied with this translation?

David Yaffe

At 00:09 22/07/2006 +0200, you wrote:
>I think it is useful to read Nicolaus's own "Note on the Translation", pp.
>65-66. He says "The translation aims at a tight fit to the original,
>including the roughness of grammar". Thus, his translation of this difficult
>text is mostly rather "literal".
>This method has its advantages, but you could also "read between the lines"
>a bit more than Nicolaus does and thus elucidate, in translating, more
>precisely and clearly what Marx tried to convey, taking into account the
>total context in which he says it. Once a translation has been made, it is
>usually easy to improve it (e.g. the Pelican translation of Capital is
>superior to previous ones), and personally, if I would do that (which I am
>not about to), I would try to make the Grundrisse text more readable using
>the information we now have about the totality of his project, and add an
>analytical index. Plus, obviously, 33 years later a better introduction is
>possible, elucidating the method and approach Marx adopted, and why he
>adopted it, and why the text is still relevant and significant today (though
>Nicolaus also makes many good points).
>One specific problem with Nicolaus's "literal" translation is that he makes
>some mistakes in interpreting Marx's concepts, in my opinion (cf. Sweezy and
>Mandel's comments about this). One good example is the concept of
>"Kapitalverwertung". This tends to be translated as the "realisation of
>capital" or the "self-expansion of capital" where it should really be
>translated as the "valorisation of capital", which is a specific concept.
>I've tried to sketch that meaning simply here:
>Marx of course also penned some other preparatory "economic" manuscripts
>that should - I often think - really be included with the Grundrisse texts.
>These include the later  "Zur Politischen Okonomie" of 1861-63 published by
>Dietz in 1976-1982 (the Grundrisse was drafted in 1857-58) and the
>"Resultate" (1864). Ben Fowkes's translation of the manuscript on "The
>Production Process of Capital" (1864) is  available here:
> .
>If you were to do a Grundrisse project again, to understand how capital
>functions these days, no doubt you would have to take an approach in some
>ways similar, i.e. you would take the given concepts in the modern
>literature and accounting standards, and critically re-examine/synthesize
>them and their interconnection, taking into account the various attempts
>that already exist, in order to understand better their social meaning and
>implications. But this is obviously a very time-consuming process and, like
>Marx's Grundrisse labour, a rather thankless task (well maybe people might
>thank you for it a hundred years later, by which time you're dead for many
>years). It would possibly be more a collective project of people who don't
>like the economic dogma's of the age and somehow can fund themselves to do

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